car accidentAny time a vehicle crash takes the life of a loved one, the loss is tragic and devastating. When that life lost is your infant child, and the accident happened due to another driver’s alleged distracted driving, the pain can seem unbearable. This is a time when a skilled California wrongful death attorney can help. While you are focusing on your family and your own healing, your attorney can be focusing upon upholding your rights under the law.

A recent case from Placer County shows how a strong case can result in a substantial settlement. The case involved Steve, a father who, according to court documents, was driving along Interstate 80 northeast of Sacramento, stuck in stop-and-go traffic in the freeway’s lane furthest to the right. The traffic in the other lanes was flowing freely. Greg, who was driving his kids in the Ford Explorer provided to him by his employer, was in the right lane behind Steve. Steve slowed to a stop, but Greg never slowed down. Greg’s SUV slammed into the rear of Steve’s vehicle at roughly 60 mph. The impact pushed Steve’s vehicle into the path of a semi truck traveling at full speed in the second lane from the right. The semi hit Steve’s vehicle, and that impact killed Steve’s baby son, who was riding in the back seat in a rear-facing car seat, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Steve and his wife sued for the wrongful death of their son. The parents’ lawsuit alleged that this was a case of distracted driving. While news reports of the case did not specifically identify Greg’s misconduct as texting while driving, the parents’ lawyer did indicate after the case’s resolution that part of the settlement money the parents received would go “to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and cell phone use behind the wheel,” according to the Bee.

police carA Sacramento man, who was driving through Lake County on his way home, suffered serious injuries after a local sheriff’s deputy lost control of his police vehicle and crashed head-on into the man. The man and the county recently ended their case, with the jury ruling for the plaintiff and awarding more than $2 million in damages. If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, you need to make sure that you have a skilled California car accident lawyer on your side to ensure that you get everything you should, whether through a judgment or a settlement.

Marc, from Sacramento, was driving his Honda Accord eastbound on Highway 20 on a rainy September morning in Lake County. While traveling across Highway 20 as he headed home from a wedding, Marc found himself facing a situation no driver wants to see:  a westbound vehicle had spun out of control on the wet road, had crossed the double-yellow line, and was headed directly for him. The two vehicles collided in a head-on crash, lakeconews.com reported.

Marc suffered serious injuries in the accident. He had a shattered left wrist and shattered ankle joint, and he experienced pain in his hip and chest. Since the driver who hit Marc was an on-duty sheriff’s deputy, the injured man sued Lake County. The case went to trial. At trial, there are generally two major hurdles:  liability and damages. Clearly, each of these hurdles involves obtaining and submitting sufficient evidence to support your contentions and refute those of the other side.

signatureEmployers may engage in many techniques to prevent employees from suing and winning in cases of discrimination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act. One way of doing that is by stopping employees from suing at all, through the use of mandatory arbitration agreements. While these agreements are generally allowable, California law imposes some restrictions on them. If your employer has demanded that you sign one, it must not impose certain restrictions on you, or it is unenforceable. An experienced California employment attorney can help you analyze your case if an arbitration agreement is involved.

One Bay Area action in which the employee got to pursue her lawsuit despite such an agreement was the case of Maya. Five years after Maya began her employment with an asset investment services company, another entity bought Maya’s employer, and she became an employee of that company. The new employer demanded that all of its employees sign a form that, among other things, included an agreement to resolve employment disputes through a process laid out by the employer. Employees had to sign the form or else lose their jobs. Not wanting to lose the job into which she’d invested half a decade, Maya signed.

By 2011, Maya had risen to a supervisory position. At that point, she objected to certain employee evaluation forms that included age, race, and gender coding, believing that such a practice was discriminatory. Two years later, while she was out on approved medical leave, the employer terminated Maya, who was African-American, and according to her complaint, gave her job to a white male colleague.

pregnancyIn California, there are several bases upon which your employer is not allowed to discriminate. Two areas in which an employee may potentially suffer from illegal discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act are pregnancy discrimination and disability discrimination. Sometimes, as happened to one woman in San Mateo County recently, you may suffer from discrimination on multiple grounds, and your employer’s liability may spring from multiple missteps. When that happens, you need skilled California discrimination counsel on your side to help you make the most of your case.

The woman who was the plaintiff in the San Mateo County case (San Mateo Superior Court case no. CIV538881), Keri, had worked for a Northern California supermarket chain for almost a decade and a half when she became pregnant in 2013. At that time, she served as the bakery/deli manager of her store. While she was pregnant, Keri learned that she had lupus, which complicated her pregnancy. After giving birth, Keri developed post-partum depression. The combination of these conditions meant that Keri took an extended leave of absence from work, both before and after the birth of her child. The employee did, however, remain in regular contact with her store manager and with the company that served as the vendor that managed the supermarket’s Family and Medical Leave Act cases.

Eventually, with the leave still ongoing, the supermarket sent Keri a letter. The letter claimed that she had not provided the proper documentation to support the medical need for her continued absence from work. The letter demanded that she provide a response within 72 hours or face termination. The letter, however, never made it to Keri and was returned as undeliverable. The employer subsequently terminated Keri, claiming as grounds “job abandonment.”

general cleaningSometimes, very terrible events can led to important court rulings that hopefully will lead to better outcomes in the future. The rape of a hotel housekeeping worker led the California Court of Appeal to consider whether the victimized employee could sue her employer for violating the Fair Employment and Housing Act. The court ruled that, due to the actions taken and not taken in this circumstance, the woman could proceed with her claim of employer liability for non-employee sexual harassment. The case is a reminder that the potential for a recovery in civil court may potentially exist in a wide array of employment situations, so it is wise to consult with knowledgeable California sexual harassment counsel about your case.

The employee who sued her employer in this case, called “M.F.” by the courts, was a housekeeping worker at a hotel in San Diego. According to the housekeeper, the events that led to her injury and legal action began early one morning when a drunk man, who was not a guest of the hotel, was spotted wandering around the hotel property by the hotel’s engineering manager, who, despite seeing the man multiple times, reported nothing about the trespasser.

After that, the drunk man allegedly began approaching various housekeeping workers, offering them cash for sexual favors. One worker reported her encounter to a housekeeping manager. Although housekeeping management made efforts to check on the safety of the workers, they missed the second floor of one building, which happened to be where M.F. was working, according to the lawsuit. The drunk man encountered M.F. cleaning a room, blocked her exit, and, when she tried to leave, knocked her unconscious. He then spent the next two hours raping her.

crosswalkYour injuries suffered as a pedestrian involved in a collision with a vehicle can be severe and sometimes life-altering. That was the case for one Southern California man whose Hollywood crosswalk collision resulted in a months-long coma and permanent brain damage. When that happens, it pays to have a skilled California injury attorney on your side to help you determine who is responsible and help you get the compensation from them that you deserve. For the Hollywood pedestrian, his case offered evidence of an intersection that wasn’t properly maintained and traffic laws that weren’t enforced. Ultimately, the injured man secured a settlement of $15 million, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

The pedestrian, John, was walking on the streets of Hollywood, just a few blocks from the “Walk of Fame.” At one point during his walk, he attempted to cross the street. He was inside the marked crosswalk and was hit by a westbound vehicle. The effects of the accident were severe for John. The collision put him in a coma for months and left him with permanent brain damage. As his lawyer told the Times, “He’s a young child in an adult’s body — and always will be.”

When you’re injured as a pedestrian in an accident with a vehicle, there may be many different options available to you for seeking the damages you need. You may have a case against the driver who hit you. If the owner of the vehicle was someone other than the driver, you may have a case against the owner. If the driver who hit you was on the job and “in the course and scope of his employment” when he hit you, the law may give you the opportunity to pursue a claim against the driver’s employer. These are just a few of the avenues that may be available to you in your case, depending on the specific facts.

at blackboardGenerally, most laws are designed to advance some sort of public policy objective. Each law, at its core, intends to protect or advance the public good in some way. So what happens when two laws, each with strong public policy bases, come into conflict with each other? A recent case that came before the California Supreme Court regarding the Fair Employment and Housing Act and the state’s anti-SLAPP statute demonstrated such a conflict. The case shows that any case can take twists and turns and encounter unforeseen complexities, which is why your FEHA case needs the careful attention of an experienced California employment attorney.

The recent Supreme Court opinion involved a Korean professor at one of the California State University campuses. In 2013, the university decided not to grant tenure to the professor. The professor sued, alleging that the university decided not to award him tenure due to national origin discrimination.

This is where the case became complicated. The employer asked the trial court to dismiss the case. The university’s argument was that the professor’s lawsuit impaired its freedom of speech and was a violation of California’s anti-SLAPP statutes. SLAPP refers to “strategic litigation against public participation.” This phrase refers to any lawsuit filed simply to intimidate, burden, or otherwise force someone to cease engaging in protected activity like free speech or petitioning for redress of grievances.

calendarIn some situations, the key to your success in your Fair Employment and Housing Act case may be related to some factual aspect of your case. In other circumstances, it may be the procedural rules related to FEHA lawsuits that potentially stand to make the difference between defeat and an opportunity to pursue your day in court. For one Southern California college professor, he was able to proceed only after he persuaded the Court of Appeal that his case was not barred by the statute of limitations. Making sure that you are in compliance with these and other procedural rules is one area where an experienced Oakland employment attorney can provide you with invaluable assistance.

The professor was a man named Guillermo, a Hispanic male of Mexican origin. He taught at a community college in Southern California. In November 2013, the professor’s employer decided not to grant him tenure. The final written notice of the denial of tenure was dated March 5, 2014. The professor initiated a grievance review procedure. That process reached its endpoint when a committee denied the professor’s grievance on May 21, 2014.

The employer terminated the professor’s employment on June 30, 2014, the last day of the 2013-14 academic year. On June 29, 2015, the professor filed a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, alleging that he was a victim of race discrimination in violation of the FEHA. The professor followed that up with a FEHA lawsuit against the employer.

older womanSometimes, the conditions at a job can become beyond atrocious. These conditions can deteriorate to such an extreme extent that you feel you have no choice but to leave. If that negative treatment is a result of age, sex, or disability discrimination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, you may be able to pursue a wrongful termination lawsuit, even if you resigned and were not fired. You can proceed under a theory known as “constructive discharge,” as one Southern California medical office worker recently did in her case. Your knowledgeable California wrongful termination attorney can explain how your case would work.

The plaintiff in the medical office case, Olga, worked in a Southern California dermatology office. While there, Olga allegedly suffered an extensive barrage of sex-related, age-related, and disability-related abuse by the doctor. The doctor called Olga too fat, too ugly, and too old, among other things, according to the woman.

Three years into her time at the office, the doctor hired another female employee. This new employee, Monica, was an attractive woman in her 20s. Shortly after Monica was hired, Olga, who was in her 40s, was demoted. This allegedly triggered a panic attack, and Olga took a leave of absence. On the day she returned, she resigned.

Ocotillo WellsAn allegedly “toxic” workplace in the San Diego County desert produced multiple lawsuits and, recently, a very important ruling from the California Court of Appeal. A state Parks and Recreation worker, who allegedly was intimidated so badly that she developed PTSD and a panic disorder, was, according to the recent ruling, entitled to pursue her civil lawsuit, rather than just file for workers’ compensation benefits. Since the alleged misconduct also amounted to a Fair Employment and Housing Act violation, that meant that the woman’s supervisor had stepped outside her proper role, which freed up the plaintiff to pursue her case in civil court.

According to certain employee lawsuits, the state Department of Parks and Recreation office at Ocotillo Wells had numerous problems with sexual and other forms of harassment. One worker, Delane, filed a lawsuit claiming that her supervisor, Lisa, loved to regale Delane and others with stories about the men she was sleeping with (or desired to sleep with) and demanded that Delane reciprocate with similar stories about the women in Delane’s sex life.

Delane’s complaint triggered an official investigation. Allegedly, Lisa ordered her subordinates, including a woman, Melony, to lie to the investigators. According to Melony’s lawsuit, Lisa stated that Melony should protect her and other supervisors and that, if she didn’t, “your career will be over.”